246 Hours of Christmas Love

I’ve said it before and I’m sure to say it again.

I love Santa.

And I especially love this Santa.

IMG_4150It pains me that this Santa comes out only for a few weeks a year.

My husband, the cross stitcher, made this Christmas stocking for me—possibly the most perfect example of loving hands at home! At the time he made it, we lived in a big city and had a summer “camp” in upstate New York. We loved the rustic spot but only lived there for a couple months in the summer. We worked in the city and yearned for the country and the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain.

So he chose a cross-stitch pattern for my stocking that would bring the rustic to our city Christmas.

And being the kind of guy he is, he kept track of every minute he spent on stitching the very dense, detailed pattern.

It took him . . . wait for it . . . 246 hours and 20 minutes!

He also spent time figuring out about how much he made per hour, as a college prof and business consultant, and let me know how much the stocking was worth, if he had been paid that hourly wage to make it. It was a big number, reflecting big love.

He gave me the stocking 10 years ago today! Of course, I knew it was coming—he could never have worked so long on it without me knowing. But to see it all done, in its glory . . . well, every year when I take it out of storage, I’m amazed all over again!

In the 10 years since I received it, a lot has changed. He has made stockings for a sweet niece:

stockinga grandson:

IMG_1055and is currently working on a new stocking for a new grandson.

IMG_4296And we have moved from the city to our “camp” full time. We live in a rustic setting, in the country, and my Santa looks right at home.

It seems to me that this is what Christmas is all about. Being in a comfortable place that feels like home, with reminders of how very much one is loved.

If you celebrate Christmas, is there one ornament or decoration that sums up the meaning of holiday for you? I’d love to hear about it.

IMG_4153

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41 thoughts on “246 Hours of Christmas Love

  1. What an amazing piece of lovely stitch work your husband has done!! and the hours involved! simply amazing…and so happy for you that you are enjoying your place in the country! it’s where I live and as much as I love it, it’s not without it’s precarious side. I have to keep an eye on Sid Vicious, my Pom as the coyotes have stalked her before (not to mention the eagles and bear)
    but that’s country living for ya!
    best,
    maureen

    • You’re in much more hard-core country than we are–we don’t need to worry about an eagle carrying our cats off! But, yes, we’re lucky to be where we are and I’m lucky to have a husband who likes me so much!

  2. The stockings are wonderful. I am amazed that he keeps tracks of the time spent for the project. When I knit, I really do not want to know how much time is passing by 🙂

    • I think he feels that way most of the time but, by keeping track of how long he spent on my stocking, he thinks he can say, “I love you more” and have evidence to back it up!

  3. Gorgeous work (play) by “the Donald”! Love the stockings, hung by the fire, with the beautiful display of folk art Santas. Warms my heart! Can I book a stay for the holiday season?

    • It’s tempting! I do leave it out longer than the other items but, eventually, it goes to “bed,” too. Luckily, we have other, framed, examples of his handiwork all through the house!

  4. That is such an impressive stocking! Yes indeed he must really like you, ha, love I think! And such a beautiful mantle, magical!

    I have a…, not sure how to describe the content of this ornament, felted perhaps, cat that is probably from the early 1900s. I believe he had a ball between his front paws and a red ribbon around his neck at one point, but just the cat remains. He perches nicely on a branch. He’s my favorite ornament for sure. I leave him out all year long, too special to stash away.

  5. Hi Kerry!
    that is the most amazing cross stitch Santa! Your husband is obviously hugely talented! Your stocking is a treasure 🙂 I’ve only ever done a tiny cross stitch – more of an embellishment on a sewn piece.
    wishing you a wonderful Christmas surrounded by your loved ones!

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